Strategy and Structure in Managing Global Associations
- Cite this article as:
- Young, D.R., Koenig, B.L., Najam, A. et al. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations (1999) 10: 323. doi:10.1023/A:1021434424549
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A key aspect of civil society worldwide is the emergence of thousands of nongovernmental organizations that operate on a global scale. The special challenges of organizing and managing these organizations include massive communications problems and the need to accommodate a wide diversity of interests. In this paper, we ask what kinds of organizational structures and management strategies are utilized by globally oriented nongovernmental organizations involved in the development of civil society, and we consider the advantages and disadvantages of alternative structures. From 15 case studies, we find that three principal types of structures are utilized: corporate partnerships, federations, and membership associations. We also find that management challenges are addressed in various creative ways within these structures, and that the federation form appears to be generally effective and avoids some of the risks associated with other forms.